I’ve seen so many TV pieces on various food and travel shows highlighting the famous noodles at Xi’an Famous Foods. Spicy food isn’t my favorite, but I can appreciate the heat if the food is good. It also helps that noodles are the name of the game here. Xi’an combines chewy hand pulled noodles bathed in a sauce of chili oil and sichuan peppercorn.
The space at their Midtown West location is pretty basic. Narrow counter seating with low stools, intended for quick in and out grubbing.
Spicy Cumin Lamb
Spicy cumin lamb noodles is Xi’an Famous Foods signature dish. The gaminess of the lamb, earthy spice of cumin, numbing heat, and kick of vinegar made for a really punchy and flavorful dish. It was tasty no doubt, but not a combination of flavors I could say I loved. The sourness became and cumin became a bit overwhelming after a while.
Spicy Cucumber Salad
I knew we wouldn’t finish all this food, but I wanted something to break up all the heat, meat, and carbs. The salad was cool and refreshing. The cucumbers were really crunchy.
Spicy and Tingly Beef Noodles
I really preferred the beef noodles over the lamb noodles. The flavors were strongly reminiscent of the Taiwanese beef noodle dish, niu rou mien. The star anise could not be missed.
The noodles were easily the star of the show in both dishes. Thick, chewy, and undeniably fresh. You can watch them being made in the kitchen. The meat sauce is almost certainly made in a huge batch in some central kitchen I’m sure.
I can see why Xi’an has become so famous. The noodles are excellent. They are so chewy. The menu is very large and you will be sure to find a noodle dish that suits your taste. For me, I’ll skip the lamb and go for the beef. If I lived close by, I would certainly be back to try every single dish, which looks to be over 20 or so.
10 – You NEED to eat here
9 – Awesome
8 – Very good
7 – Good
6 – OK
5 – Average
4 – Not bad
3 – Not good
2 – Terrible
1 – Do NOT eat here